STATE AGENCIES’ MOVE TO CENTRAL B’MORE TO TAKE 2 YEARS: Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to transplant thousands of state employees to Baltimore’s central business district will take about two years to complete, officials said on Tuesday. The state has begun putting out requests for proposals for prospective landlords, and each of the 12 agencies moving into the downtown area will have its own RPF based on its unique needs. From there, the lease acquisition process can take a little over a year.
- Downtown Baltimore will effectively become the new State Office Center over the next several years as Maryland officials shift about 3,500 employees from the current State Center complex near Bolton Hill, Ed Gunts reports for Baltimore Fishbowl.
PEREZ: NO REGRETS IN SUPPORT CLINTON FOR PREZ: Former Democratic National Committee chair and gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez said he has no regrets about having supported the 2016 presidential campaign of fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes. Though Perez did not become DNC chair until after Clinton’s loss to Republican Donald Trump, he enthusiastically campaigned for Clinton and helped steer critical endorsements her way.
OPPONENTS RECOMMEND AGAINST TOLL LANES PROJECT: Opponents of a proposal to add toll lanes around the Maryland portion of I-495 called on lawmakers to recommend against the first phase of a proposed $6 billion public-private partnership, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Members of the House and Senate were briefed Tuesday on the project led by the consortium known as Accelerate Maryland Express Partners.
- Two Montgomery County lawmakers suggested on Tuesday that an analysis of the state’s controversial Capital Beltway/I-270 proposal is being withheld by top transportation officials in order to make it harder to stop the project, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.
DELEGATE WHO CALLED PENCE ‘TRAITOR’ FILES FOR GOVERNOR: A Republican delegate perhaps best known for publicly calling Vice President Mike Pence “a traitor” at the height of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has filed paperwork to run for governor next year. Del. Daniel L. Cox (R-Frederick and Carroll) established a gubernatorial fundraising committee on Monday, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.
OPINION: COX IS A CLOWN: Brian Griffiths in his Duckpin blog opines that “Dan Cox is a joke that nobody of consequence takes seriously.” He writes, “Considering that Cox skipped worked a third of the time during the 2021 session, it’s easy to make a case that Maryland won’t tolerate a governor not willing to actually do the job. ”
OPINION: DEBUNKING NATIONAL PUNDITS: Conservative blogger Brian Giffiths debunks some national pundits on their thinking about the Maryland governor’s race.
ARUNDEL COUNCILMAN TO EXPLORE RUN FOR COUNTY EXEC: Anne Arundel Councilman Nathan Volke, R-Pasadena, announced Tuesday the launch of his exploratory committee for the 2022 county executive race, Ada Romano of the Capital Gazette reports.
HARFORD SCHOOLS AWAIT NEW CDC COVID GUIDANCE: Harford County Public Schools officials are eagerly awaiting new COVID-19 related guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they prepare for summer learning activities, as well as the start of the 2021-22 school year, David Anderson of the Aegis reports. “That will inform a lot of our decision making, and give us a real good look about what’s ahead,” Katie Ridgway, HCPS risk manager, said during the Board of Education’s most recent meeting.
WA CO SCHOOLS TO FOLLOW COVID GUIDES: Washington County Public Schools will start in-person classes on Aug. 31, with students and staff following all health and safety guidelines that are in place at that time to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak, Sherry Greenfield of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports.
MOST MARYLAND CONGRESSMEN PLAN TO USE EARMARKS: Officially, U.S. House members don’t call them “earmarks” anymore. That term for pet projects became a symbol of wasteful and stealthy spending that lawmakers slipped into congressional budgets. But a decade after being scrapped by congressional leaders, earmarks are returning, albeit with a new name and approach. And online records show Baltimore-area lawmakers — except for U.S. Rep. Andy Harris — plan to make heavy use of the revived spending tool, reports Jeff Barker for the Sun.
CAPITOL TANEY BUST TO BE REPLACED BY ONE OF MARSHALL: The U.S. House voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would remove from the Capitol a bust of Roger Taney, the U.S. chief justice from Maryland best known for an infamous pro-slavery decision, as well as statues of Jefferson Davis and others who served in the Confederacy, Kevin Freking of the AP reports. The Taney bust would be replaced with one of another Marylander, Thurgood Marshall, the first Black justice to serve on the nation’s highest court.
- Rep. Andy Harris (R) voted against the measure; the rest of the Maryland’s delegation supported passage of the bill, which was sponsored by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, Laura Olsen reports for Maryland Matters.
AS TRIAL OPENS, DEFENSE CLAIMS KILLER WAS DELUSIONAL: The man who killed five people at a Maryland newspaper was delusional and believed the state’s judicial system was conspiring with the Capital Gazette to persecute him and ruin his life, his attorney told a jury Tuesday, trying to make the case that Jarrod Ramos is not criminally responsible for the crimes due to mental illness, Brian Witte reports for the AP.
- With the sanity trial of the gunman who murdered or assaulted their loved ones set to begin in minutes, family members Tuesday morning steeled themselves for a long day, Alex Mann of the Capital Gazette reports. Scattered across three rows of benches in the largest courtroom in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, family members of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters passed around tissues before the judge took the bench.
- Public Defender Katy O’Donnell told the jury that “none of” what Jarrod Ramos did “will make any sense to any of us except him.” Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters reports that Ramos pleaded guilty to all 23 criminal charges against him on Oct. 28, 2019. Now it’s up to a jury to determine whether or not he was so incapacitated by mental illness that he should not be held criminally responsible for his crimes
WHAT TO EXPECT ON 2nd DAY OF TRIAL: The second day of the insanity trial for the gunman who killed five Capital Gazette employees will begin with state prosecutors cross-examining an Annapolis police officer who found the gunman hiding under a desk after he shot five people, Lilly Price reports for the Capital Gazette.